FFPC celebrates 150,000 injury-free work hours

Summer reporter
Marc Stuempfle

The Fort Frances Power Corporation (FFPC) took the time Tuesday afternoon to recognized all of its employees’ hard work and dedication to a safe work environment.
FFPC celebrated 150,000 safe work hours–or 11 years injury-free–and congratulated Brian White, on becoming a certified journeyman by finishing his four-year electric lineman apprenticeship.
White was presented with his framed certificate and journeyman license from president and CEO Joerg Ruppenstein and FFPC board chair Larry Cousineau.
Ruppenstein was proud of the fact all of the companies’ current linemen started as first-year apprentices with FFPC.
“We pride ourselves in that all of our linemen–with the exception of Brian–now are red-sealed, which is the highest designation staying interprovincial,” said Ruppenstein.
The FFPC is a tight-knit group with 11 employees on the line and six members on its board of directors. Ruppenstein noted he had always hoped and enjoyed the company mirrored the same dynamics of a family.
“We’re lucky to have a tremendous, almost like a family atmosphere, we just have a tremendous organization. It’s awesome,” said Ruppenstein.
It is because of this culture amongst the employees at FFPC safety has become the company’s number one priority.
“We work in a very unforgiving environment, where a mistake can be fatal,” said Ruppenstein. “And for me, if that were to ever happen it would be a life-altering event.”
Cousineau reiterated how meaningful and the importance of each workers safety is the top priority on the agenda at each monthly board meeting.
The board reviews all safety recommendations and concerns from every lineman, so new policies can be introduced to keep all employees working safe.
“We just try to instill that culture that no job should be done unsafe. There’s just no reason for it,” said Ruppenstein.
FFPC values safety and the belief work-related injuries are preventable, he added.
The FFPC believes in giving each employee the right tools and resources to perform their job safely, said Ruppenstein. Continuous and proper training is another reason why FFPC has not had any time lost due to an injury.
“Every day that everyone comes to work, or goes to work in the same condition they came to work, or even a little better sometimes, or maybe tired from working hard is a great day,” noted Ruppenstein.
“And we don’t take safety for granted and we are really honoured, feel blessed and very proud that everyone is going home safe at the end of the day.”